Central Intelligence Agency 'helped Russian Federation foil terror attack' on St Petersburg cathedral


The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Donald Trump to thank him for the Central Intelligence Agency information.

In a phone call, President Vladimir Putin thanked Donald Trump for the CIA's intervention, the Kremlin said.

Information provided by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) allowed Russian law enforcement agencies to prevent a planned attack on the Kazansky Cathedral in Russia's second city of St Petersburg, and arrest the plotters, the Kremlin was quoted as saying.

According to Vesti, Putin asked Trump to thank CIA Director Mike Pompeo for providing the information, and he told the USA president that "the Russian security services, in the case where they receive information regarding terrorist threats in relation to the US and its citizens, will without question and immediately pass it to their American colleagues".

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Putin also pledged that Russian security agencies would pass on any information received about terrorist threats to the United States and its citizens.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the call from Putin to Trump took place and said a readout would be provided to the press shortly.

There was no immediate confirmation from US authorities that they had shared intelligence with Russian officials but White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted a confirmation that the two presidents spoke on Sunday.

Seven members of an Islamic State group cell have been arrested by the FSB, Russian officials added, after they were allegedly planning a suicide bombing in crowded areas of the city.

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Police officer Mohammad Atiq said police and army troops had surrounded the church and were exchanging fire with the attackers. Home Minister of Balochistan Sarfraz Bugti confirmed that terrorists targeted the church located in the area.

Police confiscated a large number of explosives used to make homemade bombs, automatic rifles, munitions and extremist literature, it said.

In April, a suicide bombing in the St. Petersburg's subway left 16 dead and wounded more than 50.

Several other suspects came from mostly Muslim regions in Russia's volatile North Caucasus, and one man was from the ex-Soviet nation of Tajikistan that borders Afghanistan. "A laboratory manufacturing explosive devices was destroyed".

Last week, the FSB said it also arrested several IS-linked suspects in Moscow, where they allegedly were plotting a series of suicide bombings to coincide with New Year's celebrations. The allegations were "invented" by Trump's foes to undermine his legitimacy, Putin said.

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